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Teach Yourself Polish [2010]

Teach Yourself Polish [2010]


goal category

all-around confidence language


• learn to speak, understand and write polish
• progress quickly beyond the basics
• explore the language in depth





-..... ~


nigel gotteri

For over 60 years, more than
40 mAIIon people have 1eant over

750 subjects the t8ach ~
INalo with impressive results.

be where you want to be

with t8ach JO&R8If

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from thellrldsh Lllllry.

I.IJIIq ~cw.,.. GWiq CltrJ,..,.on 1111.

Flnlt published In UJ( 191J7 by Hodder Educallon. 338 EusiDn Road, London, NW1 38H.
flnlt pullllshad In US 191J7 by Conllmporaly Boolcs. a Division of the McGraw-Hill
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aleclnJnlc or mechanlr:al.lncilllng phab:apy, RICOidlng, or lilY lnfonnlllon, Sbnlll and
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no part of tIhIIiIsII'pVuebdl.lcElllaonpmt •aypblel1r'lai'pllreodduucn:ce1d1rotrhdelsUbnlllbulldldSlIanlla8nyCfooprmyrigohrtblydliloYr
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Typeset by Trnat lirlllld, CcMnlry, England. c1v1s1on or Hodder Headline, 338 Euston

Prlnlld 1n Grlat Brllaln for Hodder Educallon, a
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Hodder Headline's POik:Y 1s atwoxopo1e1dc1l1llgdPrtoolwl*cnollnItfnohramstuatsorlaatlhnlelalbllillMenl,f1o1r1ne1l1ns1e1ls1w1.1aab1nl"e'IU.nUlaoaglorganicnB:gyocrlaltbnhldee
producls and made frilm
manufacblfng proc:esa n
COIIIIry of origin.

mrlmpi'ISIIon number 10 9 8 7

Yw 2010 2008 2008 2006 2005

lnlraductlan Ill

pronuncldon Jx

01 )tltlm na Wllracjlch I'm on holiday

greeting people and answering g1'8811ngs

•Introductions • asking for help and

thanking people for h 1

02 blrdzo ml milo p/Basld to mf8tyou

giving further Information about yourself and

requesting lnfonnatlon from others • talking

about nationality • speiHng out loud 11

03 m6J numer)lit ... my numblr Is ...

counting from 1 to 199 • asking for and

giving Information • using the telephone

• genitive forms za

04 Silly zwlldza m111to Sally gfHIS slghtsllling

talking about firm plans • asking for and

giving permission • talldng about visiting

places • attracting and holding attention

• offering and accepting apologi~ 37

05 lwpuJemy iywno6t we buy SOII'IB fotJd

shopping fo~ food, and buying other things

like bus and cinema tickets • talking about

prices • some accusative forms 13

• - . p1rwat I prB/Ir to swim

expressing and asking about preferences

• expressing likes and dislikes • how to accept

and decline, graciously and ungraciously 18

lv 17 wblnku 1111 poc:zcle at the bank and post offlcB

I what to do with your money • asking for

II information about money matters • making
enquiries about cost and availability
a.n.........,• talking about possibility and necessity 77
12 pok6J I've a room rBSBrvtJd

making areservation and checking Into ahotel

• ordering food in a restaurant and asking for

atable • addressing groups of men and

groups of women • telling the time • talking

about past events and about conditions •

and unreal events

umiWIIIny"' M1 make a date

talking about things due to happen in the

future • asking for and gMng Information

about travel • more about times and dates

• talking about different kinds of conditions 111

rodzlna family

descriptions of people and their routines

• expressing condolences • talking about

what Is or was going to happen, and about

what is supposed to be the case • talking

about helping, favouring, hindering

and harming 114

. . l,.clzlellllt.llo od pogocly

alot wiH dB(Jflld on tiM wathBr

talking In more detail about future actions

and Intentions • talking about possibilities

that depend on something • asking and

talking about the weather • talking about

the ways and circumstances In which things

are done 147

bJW u lllrlrza? have you bBBn to the doctor's?

describing how you feel and asking people

how they filet • talking about parts of your

body and seeking medical help 117

13 Cltllo Pill tu .,_? do you co1111 "'" oflln? y

describing family and other relationships I

• talking about how often things happen 1.

14 Jilt c1 wtym do twirly It suits you

talking about clothes, sizes and colours

• talking about people's appearance

• making comparisons • talking about

what things are made of 175

15 ...,...... llll•pagol a// thB best/

talking about months • expressing seasonal

and other wishes •Issuing invitations

and Introducing guests • talking about

things that your kind of people do • talking

about the old days and about namedays,

birthdays and other celebrations 1.

18 IIIMIIdopot I've got aprobllm

how to send for expert help • expressing

fears and wishes • telling people not

towony 114

17 nil wlem, r:q .._. I don't know If I'll have time

talking about travel and about definite
plans and engagements • talking about
obligations and duties

-18 ,Ilk tD ...IIIIo? how did It hapfJin?
talking about past events and about what

you have seen and heard • talking about

certainty and uncertainty 212

11 na IMII jui CZ11 I've got to go

'*"''making promlsel • sending greetings
and thanking for specific things

• Issuing oenlftll t,witations 221

-bllo...20 fii.IJ wPolla?
did you llkllt In Poland?

talking about how you liked a place

• talking about learning a language • -
talking about the value of activities and
about enjoying activities • paying and
receiving compliments

..... ftfurtlllr 241
•. .................~ ...,.,to...mrciMI Ill
lllllllllry -211
English-Polish pattem guide
Polish-English vocabulary Z7l


Moim ukochanym Rodzicom i mpowi Ianowi poSwi~am.


Pami~ Donalda Pirie pOSwi~.



The authors would like to thank Helen Coward, Helen Green,

Kate Jarrett, Sarah Mitchell and Steve Taviner for their patience

and help in producing this book. They would also like to thank

their colleagues, &iends and students in England, Poland and

Scotland for encouragement and many direct and indirect
suggestions. As usual, any flak should nevertheless be directed

straight at the authors.

For help in preparing the $C!COnd edition we would particularly

like to thank Rebecca Green, Ginny Catmur, Agnieszka

Halicka, and Bronia and Jadzia Woryna.

Teach Yourself Polish is a complete course for beginners in a.-~~..·.
spoken and written Polish. It is designed for self-tuition, but
can also be used with a teacher. The course is organiud c.
around situations and dialogues, and explains grammar
gradually as points arise. .0c(-).·

About Polish ~

Polish is the state language of the Polish Republic. It is a
member, with Czech, Slovak and Sorbian, of the western sub-
group of the Slavonic languages, a family which includes
Bulgarian, Russian, Ukrainian and other languages. As well as
nearly forty million speakers in Poland. itself, Polish is spoken
by an estimated ten million Poles abroad.

About this book

Grammar, in the form of endings on words, communicates a
lot in Polish, so it is not realistic to draw a distinc:tion between
'grammar' and 'communication'. This course is planned,
however, not on the basis of which grammar points are easiest

min the abstract, but on the basis of the situations which you,

like the characters in the book, will find yourself. This means
that points which might be thought 4advanced' from a purely
grammatical point of view begin to be explained quite early
on, because they have arisen naturally.

viii How to use this book

Each of the 20 units follows the same pattern, but not all are the

I same length. You are in charge of your own learning and your
own pace. There is no hurry. Give yourself time to absorb

things, and revise regularly. A lot of points, examples and words

come around repeatedly to help you grow accustomed to them

gradually. Outline explanations come first, and more details are
filled in later, when you have seen patterns in action.

Dialopes There are some dialogues at the beginning of each
unit. Using the recording, listen to them first to see how much
you understand. Then read them carefully with the aid of the


Voc:abulary The vocabulary boxes give you first the forms of
words as they occur in the dialogues and then the form of the
word that you would expect to look up in a dictionary (the

citation form). You may or may not know the reason why a
word occurs in a particular form at that stage. Learn the word

in context, pronouncing its ending to yourself clearly, even if the
reason for the ending is not yet clear. In Polish ends of words are

not 'swallowed', so it is perfectly realistic to pronounce endings


a Sections with this symbol explain aspects of the language

and of Polish life relevant to the dialogue.

Lanpqe patterns Further explanations of grammatical
structures and how to create your own sentences.

Practice In these sections you practise the new words and
information you have learnt.

How to A re-cap and reminder of the things you can now do in

aPolish. indicates material included on the accompanying

The symbol

The best way to make progress is to work a little every day.

When you have understood the dialogues, move on to the

explapations and commentaries, then go back to the dialogues.
Each time you go back to a dialogue you will find you have

more idea how the language is working in it. Some of the

exercises are easier than others. They will probably make you

re-read the dialogues and explanations once more - which is

what they are supposed to do.

pronunciation I1x

a The Polish alphabet has the following letters:


0 6prsstuwyzzi

This is the order of the alphabet, so for example, iaba (frog),
Zr6dlo (stream, source) and zza (from behind) will appear in
your dictionary in the order zza, then i.r6dlo, then Zaba. In other
words, I (barred 1), i (dotted z) and letten with • (kresb) or •

(ogonek, tail) count as separate letten in their own right in


a The following combinations of letten, as you will see·
shortly, represent single sounds:

ch cz dz dZ di rz sz

You will learn how to spell out loud (A for Adam, B for
Barbara, etc.) in Unit 2.

The letters a, e, I, o, 6, u and y

a represents a sound midway between the a in father and the a
in bat

e represents a sound like e in bet

y represents a sound like i in bid (but further away from the ee in

i represents an exaggeratedly clear version of the ee in keen

o is like the o in box

6 and u.are both pronounced like the oo in boot (te. BO&, God,
and Bq, the River Bug, are pronounced the same).

~ and ~tend to represent sounds like o as in box and e as in bed,

but lengthened by a cross between I and nOrm (a nasalized w

roughly as in When will they ever leamf). Sometimes this is
closer to an n, D., m or 118 (as in the wrong kind of snow).

Sometimes, especially before I or at the end of words ending in
~ it seems to disappear altogether in all but the most careful
speech. Put another way,~ at the end of a word is normally
pronounced like a plain -e.

X The following letters are pronounced roughly as in English:

But note that p, t and k are pronounced without the puff of air
that usually follows them in English. The letter I represents a

I sound closer to a French or German I than to an English one.
The letter r represents a rolled (trilled) r, as in Russian or
Spanish or stereotypical Scots English.

The letter I now normally represents a sound like English w.
You may hear older speakers, actors, or people from the East
who pronounce it like a Russian I, something like the second I
in the English word little.

The letter w is pronounced like English v.

The letter c normally represents ts as in cats, unless it is followed
by i (see below).

The letter j is pronounced like the English y in yes.

a Try these Polish words. The ones on the left are on the
recording; try the others on your own.

kawa. coffee matka mother
herbata tea chleb bread
kielbasa sausage salata lettuce
kodet cutlet befsztyk steak
wysoki high cudzy someone•s elses
prom ferry statek liner
kac hangover Jacek ]acek (man~ name)
cukier sugar lyk a gulp
spory good-sized rumsztyk rump steak
Robert Robert lody ice.-cream
Polska Poland Francja France
Turcja Turkey Rosja Russia
Rumunia Romania Wlochy Italy

Pronouncing sounds represented by letters

with ' (kl8slca)

C, di, D., s, zall represent sounds that seem to include an attempt
sdtohZepiesrpol,inkzoeuisjnilcniekejjins(kyisni,nDp.yleiesas)sliukarete.tthhAeellsfaiormsftethnte(iims)eeinw. ciullnisisoolinuk,nesdcibsbeliinsktecihfsehyaoipun,

remember to try and pronounce j (y in yes) at the same time. If xl

the sound represented by these letters is followed by a vowel (a, I
e 0 , u/6), then the accent' on the letter is replaced by a letter i

after it. If the sound represented by these letters is followed by
the vowel i, then the ' is leh off the letter.

a Try these words. The ones on the leh are on the recording.

cialo body dzieii d4y
niebo sky ziamo (a) grain
wild lokiee elbow
dziki suffer widziee see
hallway cleft shadow

Consonant letters followed by the letter i represent sounds

mwhich, again, seem to be combined with a sound like the y in

English yes.

Try these words:

miska bowl list letm
chick bialy white
piskl~ dlrys limp

'Hardened' or 'pseudosoft' consonant sounds

cz, eli, rz (=i in pronunciation), sz and i represent sounds
pronounced with the tongue in a similar position to an English

r (not rolled); the tongue is held not tight against the ridge

behind the upper front teeth, and the lips are slightly rounded.
Imagine you are curling your tongue round some very cold food
to keep the extreme coldness away &om your teeth. Bearing this

in mind, try:

cz like ch in choose, eli like j in job, rz or i like s in pleasure, or
please your self (pleezher self), sz like s in sure.

a Try these words:

czas time szlcola school
deszcz szczur rat
dZokej rain river
zona jockey rzeka rice

wife ryZ

dz represents a single sound rather like the ds in beds, unless dz
is followed by i (see below).

Note that in Polish, ch and h both represent the sound at the end
of Scottish loch.

xll Try these words:

kukurydza maize sadza soot
Remember, before i, the letten c, n, s, and (d)z represent the
same sounds as C, D, i and (d)z. The letters C, D, i and (d)z are

I not used before i.
Many sounds lose their voicing at the end of a word:

b is pronounced like p d is pronounced like t

g is pronounced like k w is pronounced like f
z is pronounced like s
dZ is pronounced like ~ i is pronounced like I

n/7. is pronounced like sz dz is pronounced like c;

So, in fact, B6g (God), Bug (the River Bug) and buk (beet:h
(tree)) are all pronounced the same. This is a good illustration

of an important fact about the relationship between spelling and

pronunciation in Polish. Hyou see a word writtea. in Polish, you

can be at least 99% sure how to pronounce it. H you hear a
Polish word you do not know, you may be able to think of
several ways it might be 'written.

Try these words:

<14b eomer ogr6d garden
paw peaeoek
r6g one time wei take it
say odpowiedi answer
raz stat training

Where two consonants occur in succession, the second one

usually decides whether the combination is voiced or not, but w

and rz are pronounced like f and sz when they follow a voiceless

COil801Wlt. In some kinds of Polish, this tendency even extends
across the boundary between words.

Try these:

stw6rca creator w6dka vodka
takZe alSo
dw6ch dni of two days


Stress (emphasis, accent) almost always falls on the last syllable
but one of a word. Exceptions will be noted as they occur.

Try these, taking them slowly and putting a gentle emphasis on Ixlll
the last syllable but one.

wystawa display c:yteyna lemon
pomarailcza orange tea
herbata relaxation
kawiamia coffee shop

Remember that the ' on the 6 indicates that the pronuncialion is

the same as the pronunciation of u. It does not indicate stress or


Try these words:

ogr6d garden pok6j room, peace

Practise these words containing the letters ~ and 'I· In square
brackets you will find non-existent Polish words that would be

pronounced the same if they existed.

~b tooth [zomp] gl~boki deep [glemboki]

~ loop [pentla] qt angle [kont]

Note that the letter i written before a, aa, e, ~ o, 6 or u does not

represent a separate syllable, but just indicates that the sound

represented by the preceding letter has a j (y as in yes) built into


a Polish sounds harder to pronounce than it is. Here are some


• Polish stress (emphasis on a particular part of a word) is quite

• Unstressed syllables are pronounced as clearly as stressed

• If a word gives you trouble, try building it up gradually from

the end.

Here is an example of the third tip. Imagine you have trouble

with przypuszczam (I suppose). Build it up like this:

czam uszczam puszczam szypuszczam przypuszczam

Note that it is szypuszczam in the last stage -but one, rather than
rzypuszczam, because rz is pronounced like sz after p.

xlv D Intonation -the tune of a sentence

The most important thing to remember about Polish intonation
is that statements in which your voice falls towards the end of a
sentence, can be turned into questions just by raising the pitch

I of your voice at the end.
Jest Polakiem. (voice falling) He's a Pole.
Jest Polakiem? (voice rising) Is he a Pole?

You are now ready to embark on Unit 1.

Zaczynamy? (voice rising) Are we startingl
Zaczynamy. (voice falling) Yes.

In this unit you wlllleam
• how to greet people and

answer greetings

• how to Introduce yourself
• how to ask for help and

thank people for It

2 There is a lot of material in this first unit. Take it steadily. We
introduce a lot of words which have ~~everal use&, so you will get
I good mileage from what you learn first. We also introduce, iD a
general way, some points about the way Polish works. These
i points are developed more fully in later units.

I aDialogues
James has just arrived in Ok~e, the international airport in
Warsaw. He 'approaches passport control (kontrola

paszportowa). He accidentally bumps into a fellow passenger.

0...... He apologizes.
Jamu Bardzo pana przepraszam.

Mfttczyzna Nlc nle szkodzl.

. . . , wwy (much) Nlc nle akodzl (azkodzl6) It's Ill/

przepreuem ~) right
(przept'IISZ8t. pan) I'm sony, I

apologize (to you)

Reminder. in the vocabulary boxes the forms of words which

occur in the text are followed by the dictionary forms in
brackets (forms you would look up in a diccionary or in the
vocabulary at the back of this book).

a There is a queue at the passport control. A young woman is

ahead of James in the queue, and he can hear her conversation
with the passport officer.

Oficer Paszport pro~.
Sally P~.
Oficer Dzi~kuj~. W porqdku.

The officer gives Sally her passport.

Ollar ~.
Sally l)zhiku.lfl. Do wldzenia.

otlcer officer dzlllk!IM thenk you
.,.uport passport w pol'24dku (poi'Zildek) In Older,
.....,.. ,....; here you ere;
Ill/ right, OK
you'l8 wa/c:ome
do wlclzenl8 goodbye

a Then it is James' tum. a

Oflcer DzleJ\ dobry panu. Paazport ~· I

Ja...- Dzlefl dobry. Prolzfl. I
DzklkuJtl. Jest pan w Polsce jako turysta?
Oflcer Tak, jestam na wakacjach, na rn1es11tc. I
JamM Dobrze. Wszystko w porzatdku. ~ rnlego pobytu w
Oflcer .c..
Polsce. Do wklzenla panu.
~.Itt bardzo. Do wldzenla.

dziM doiHy good morning I jeetem (by6) ,.,.

alfemoon na Wllkac:Jach (wakacje) on ~
panu (pan) to you (said to a man)
paaport ~~passport holidays

p/flae na ...._.fora month
proeq here you . . dobru well, tight, OK, fine, good,

........ th8nlcyou ..tight

Jest,.. .. .? . .you ••• 'I (loa wszy.tko tNWythln(l
w poi'Zildku (poi'Zitdek) In otrler
m._Jest (by6) Is
w Polsce (Poleka) In Pol8nd
~ (!yc:zy6) I wish 6'011)
pobylu (mly pobyt) (a)
turpta tourist
pleasant stay
do ......lagoodbye

a Meanwhile, Sally, the young Englishwoman who was in

front ofJames at passport control, has a problem. She can't find
Basia, her Polish friend who was supposed to be waiting for her

at the airport. She ·decides to try the information desk. She

approaches the girl sitting there.

Sally Dzle~ dobry. Potrzebujtt pomocy.
Sally Tak, alucham pan~~t
Nazywam s~ct Sally Johnson. Jestem z Anglll. Nle
Dzlewczyna I1ICI9tt znalett mojej przyjacl6lkl.
Dzlewczyna Jak nazywa sltt panl przyjac161ka?
Barbara Jakubowska.

Pro8zfl chwlleczq zaczekat.

4 ~pomocy pMI~your~

I (~. pomoc) I Med friend
. . . . . . . g/11 motM (m6c) /can
i 81ucham .,__ (aluc:he6) /am nle motM zneleit rnojeJ

listening to )W (to a woman) przrjac161kl (m6j, przyjac161ka)
I can't find my friend
I chwl"Pllnl Mrs, Miss, Ms
nur-n •Ill (nazywa6 lilt) my
{sutJneme Is
jMtem (by6) I am
z Anglll (Anglla) tom England
JH ,..,.. ......? what Is .....


piOUI chwl. . . . . (chwileczka)

please •.• a moment

Z8CZ8k86 (chwlla) walt a

The girl speaks into the microphone:

~ Pa-li Barbara Jakubowaka proszonajest do lnforrnacji.

After a short while Barbara appears at the information desk.

a.ttera Jestern Barbara Jakubowska.

s.lly (do dzleWczyny) Dzifaku.ifl pani bardzo za pornoc.
Nle rna za. co. Do Wldzania.

prouonllje8t do lnforiMcJI dzlllku.l•- pomoc (~)
(lnl'onnacjll) Is requested to tfJank )W for (yout1 help
nle IIIII D CO don't mention It
repott to the Information Des/c ....,....,. (proel6) requested rto
,..._. (by6) /am, I'm hent
do~ (dzlewczyna) to


B Everyday words: CZ.K talc, nle

Czy may introduce a queetlon, to which the answer expected II )W

or no:

Ten pan jest bardzo mlly. Th&t man Is vwy kind.
Czy ten pan jest bardzo rnlly? Is that man vwy kind?

Alternatively, a question mark In writing, or a question tune in epeech
(Intonation up at the end) Is enough:

Ta panl jest z Polski? Is that woman from Poland?

The usual 'MH'd for }'88 is tak. (Another 'MH'd Is owszem. In Informal

speech, you will also hear the 'MH'd no for )'88, which II confusing for
English speakers.)

The Polish word for no Is nle, which also means not. You have to be I

careful with commas In writing and pauses In speech, or you may I

cause a misunderstanding. i

Nle jestam z Anwykl. I am not from Ametica. I
Nie, jestem z Amerykl. No. I'm from Ameffca.
g·How to say -you•: pan, pan/

The polite word .for you In Polish Is pan to a man and PIIRI to a
woman. You will have noticed various forms of these two words.

to a man to a woman

Dziel\ dobry panu panl Hello/good

Dowldzenla panu morning
Dzl4lkuj' panu
panl Goodb)'8
Polsce ... ? panl Thank you
Sluctan pana
Jest panl w Al8youln
pana paszport
pana nazwlsko "poisce 1 "? Poland ... ?
pana przyJaci6lka
pan._ I'm nstanlng

to you

panl paszport your passport

panl nazwlsko yoursumame

panl your(gltj)

przyJaci6lka friend

Pan and Pllftl can also mean Air and Ala, or (gentle)man and
lady/woman, e.g. ten pan (that man), ta panl (that woman). As you
can Imagine, this makes them very common words. Their variety of
meaning can make them confusing to begin with, but you soon
become used to them.

There are other words for you. For example, pa\.two (which also
has the forms palllatwa and Pllllialwu) Is used to a mixed group of
men and women. If you are on familiar terms with someone, ty Is
used; If you are speaking famHiarty to more than one peraon, you use
wy. As you wiD see later, ty and wy are often left out.

a lmitt i nazwisko First name and surname

NIZWI8ko Is a person's sumame. lm.. Is a forename. Offtclal forms

usually ask for lm141 I nazwlako (first name and sumama).

• Nazywam ilfa . . .

I Mam na lmht. . .
Two phrases to say what your name is:

My name Is ...
My first name Is ...

I Asimpler a1temat1ve when lnlroducing ycuself Is to use..-... (I am),
I usualy followed by whatever name you would like the olher person to
use, e.g.
Jestem Jurek. I'm Jutek I CsU me Jui'elc.

(Jurek Is an Informal

version rl Jerzy, or George.)

....c You can also reverse the order and say: JuNk jeatem. You will soon
notice that word order Is more flexible In Polish than It Is In English.
a Greeting people: Dzlelt dobry

Polish does not distinguish between hello, good day, good momlng,

and good attemoon. DzJn dobry Is used for all of these. In the

evening you greet people with Dobry wiHz6r (good eWinlng).
Dobnmoc (goodnight) is not a greeting but a goodbye. You may add

to )'011:

~ dobry panl. Good momlng (to a woman).

Dobranoc panu. Goodnight (to a man).

a A multi-purpose word: Proaz'

~ is another common and versatile expression. It can mean:

• please

~uwatat. Pleue take c:ata/notlce.
Please speak more slowly.
~ m6wlt wolniej.

• please may. I have

Paszport proeztt. I~ o paszport. I~ o paszport.
(Popi"'aals extra polite.)

• don't mention It

Dzlftku)t bardzo za tyczenla. Thank you for your good
~. You'l8 welcome.

• here you are (as you hand someone something)

M6J paszport. ~. This Is my passport. Hete

you alB.

• come In (when someone Is knocking at the door) 7

P~. Comelnl I

As a question, P1"08Z4t? can mean Pardon? or What can I do for i
Language patterns
1 Endings
Notice words ending in ~ meaning I ... : mog~ (I can), iy~
(I wish), pros~ (I ask), dzi~j~ (I thank). Some words meaning
I . . end in -m: jestem (I am, here I am), slucbam (I'm

listening), mam (I have) and mam na ~(my name is ••• lit.

I have for name ... ).

Polish words often change their endings according to how they
fit into what is being said. You will look closely at endings as the
book progresses. In order to help you, the vocabulary sections
generally also give the form of a word that you would expect to
find as a dictionary headword if it is different from the form that
occurs in the dialogue.

2 Gender

You will also see that 'gender' is important. For now, just a
couple of examples:

a Pani Barbara jakubowska proszona jest do Informacji.
b Pan Marek Jakubowski proszc)ny jest do Informacji.

(Marek the English name Mark.)

a Czy mogbaby pani Could you help? (to a woman)


b Czy m6glby pan pom6c? Could you help? (to a man)

3 Articles

Finally, you will have noticed the lack of Polish words for the
and a(n). For example, turysta means the tourist or a tourist,
depending on the circuDistances in which it is used.

Malgosia to mila dziewczyna. Malgosia is a nice girl.

Dziewczyna z Informacji jest The girl at the information

bardzo mila. desk is very nice.

8 Practice

I 1 Unscramble the following letters to form words:
a palajzyr6cik

il b mocop

I c mhacusl
d marpszezrap

2 Read the questions and write your answers.
... jak panlpani si~ nazywa?
0 jak panlpani ma na imi~?
Panlpani jest w Polsce?

Panlpani jest z Anglii?

3 Match the responses on the right with the items on the left.

a Pani z Polski? 1 Dobrze.
b Pr~. 2 Nie, jestem z Anglii.
3 Nie ma za co.
c Wszystko w porqdku. 4 Dzi~uj~.
d D~kuj~.

4 Put the short words aa, w, etc. into appropriate gaps.

Die na aa w w jako mi si~

a Jak nazywa _ ta pani?

b Czy moie _ _ pan pom6c?

c jestem _ _ Ang1ii _ _ turysta.

d _ _ jak dlugo (how long) pan przyjechal (have

come) do Ameryki?

e _ _ jestem Adam. jestem Jurek.
f Pani _ _ Polsce _ _ wakacjach?

5 What is the difference in meaning between these two


Nie, m~ pom6c.
Nie mog~ pom6c.

6 Respond to the following:

a Bardzo pana przepraszam.
b Paszport pr~.

c Dobranoc pa{lstwu.
d D~kuj~ bardzo za pomoc.

How to ...

Just to re-cap, here are some reminders of things you can I
already do in Polish, along with a few extras.
• greet someone
Dzien dobry (pani/panulpailstwu).
Dobry wiecz6r (panilpanulpaflstwu).

• say please and thank you


Dzi~kuj~ (panilpanulpailstwu).

• ask someone's surname and give your own

Jak si~ panlpani nazywa?

Panalpani/pailstwa nazwisko?
Nazywam si~ Herbert.

• give your first name

Mam na imi~ Angela.
Angela jestem.

• request something and say here it is

(Po) pro~ (o) paszport.


• ask for help

Potrzebuj~ pomocy. I need help.

Czy m6glby mi pan pom6c? Could you help mel (to a man)

Czy mogfaby mi pani pom6c? Could you help mel (to a


Czy lllOJdiby mi pa6stwo Could you (people) help mel


• thank someone very much for their help

Dzi~kuj~ panulpanilpailstwu bardzo za pomoc.

• acknowledge thanks

Pr~ (bardzo).
Nie ma za co.

• wish someone a pleasant stay

Zy~ (panulpanilpailstwu) I wish you a pleasant stay in

~ea~ pobytu w Polscelw Poland I;, England I;,
Angliilw Ameryce.





0 In thla unit you will learn
• how to give further

lnfonnatlon about yourself
• how to request lntonnatlon

from others
• how to talk about nationality
• how to spell out loud

Dialogues 11

a Both Sally and James are welcomed by groups of friends. I

Basia's family is at the airport to greet Sally. Basia introduceS i
them to Sally.
Bola Sally, to jest moja rodzina. M6J ~ Torilek.

Tomek Dziefl dobry. Bardzo mi milo.
Basla Moja c6rka Anla I syn Jacek.
Sally Milo ml paflstwa poznat.

to jest this Is, It Ia aynaon

m6J, .... (rn(lj) my c6rtca daughter

moja roclzlna my family bardzo mlrnllo (pBnalpanlttf

m6J ..,. my huabend pat'lstwa pozna6) pleased to

milo (It Ia} nice, pleasant, kind, meet,you

welcome pozna6 meet, get to /maw

Meanwhile, James is met by a group of students ttom the

Summer School of Polish where he is going to spend a couple of
rnonths learning the language. His friend Maciek introduces

them to James.

Maclek James, chclalbym cl przedstawlt troje przyjacl61: Mark,
Grzegorz i Marina. Mark I Marina Sll cudzozlemcamii~.~CZJt
lift jftzyka polsldego w Latnlej Szkole ~ Polsklego.
Czett. Jestam James. Jestem Angllkiem.
Wdaj. Ja jestem z Kanady. To jest Marina z Wloch.

Bardzo mi milo.

12 Maclek Ato jest Grzegorz. nasz lektor ~ polsklego.

J - Jak sift plaza Grzegorz?
I IIIICiek G jak Genowefa, R jak Roman, Z jak Zenon, E jak Ewa,
G jak Genowefa, 0 jak Olga, R jak Roman, Z jak Zenon.
i J.... To ba'dzo lrudne slowo.

c:hcllllbpl (chcle6) I Mould Hlce Lelnla ..... (letnl, szkola)

(said by a 118'1) Summer School

cl (ty) to )'OCI cze66 hello, hi

przeclet8wlt , . . . , lnltoduoe ...., welcome, hi

troJe tine (used d a mixed group wlta6 gt8fll
Ja I

.... przyJIIcl6t (przyJaclel) z KaniiCiy (Kanacla) ftom Canada

tine friend~~ Angllldem (Angllk) Eng//sh(man)

._ (by6) IIIey (818) z wtoch (Wiochy) from 1111/y

~ (Cl!dzozlemlec) a and, but

fot8/gners leldor tutor, teacher, lectutw

~ ... (uczyt IIIII) they 818 J8k ........... how do )'OCI spell••.

studylng/leemJn Jak how, 11/ce, .. In

Mk lattguage truclne (trudny) difficult, hair/

~ pol8ldego o.zyk polakl) alowo WOld

Polish, of Po/IM


• PoznM

0 fOIHim





6 Nationalities

country obywatel/ ~lUI

America mleazkanlec mleukanka
Canada (clllzenAnhebllant)
(male) ·(female)
Amaryka Amerykanin Amerykanka
Germany Australia
Graat Britain Kanada Australijczyk Australljka
Ireland Anglia
Italy Kanadyjczyk Kanadyjka
Scotland Francja
Spain ~glik Anglelka
Switzerland Niemcy
The United Wielca Brylaria Francuz Francuzka
States lrtandia
WaJea W4ochy Niemiec Niemka
Brytyjczyk Brytyjka
lrlandc:zyk lrlandka
Stany Wloch Wloszka

Zjednoczone Szkot Szkotka
Hiszpan Hlezpanka

Szwajcar Szwajcark8

Walljczyk Walijka

II SpeiUng out loud

In Polish, Christian names are traditionally U88d for spelling out loud

(A for Adam, etc). Below you will find typical names used for spelling
out loud. The pronunciation of the letter name Is given In brackets
after each latter.

14 A(a) jakAdam

B (be) Jak Barbara
I C (ce) Jak Celina (cIs pronounced ts except before I, h
i D(de) andz)
jak Dorota (Danuta)
I E (e)
F(ef) jak Ewa (Eiibleta)

G (gle) jak Franciszek (Franek, Fellks)
Jak Genowefa (Graiyna)
H (cha) Jak Hallna ('ch' single sound as In 'loch')

I (i) Jak Irena
J (jot)
Jak Karol
jak Leon (Lucyna)
L (el)
jak tukasz (tucja) (I like an English w)
Jak Marta
M(em) Jak Natalia (Nikodem)

N (en) Jak Olga

O(o) Jak Piotr (no puff d air after pi)

p (pe) jak Robert (Roman)

R(er) Jak Stefan
Jak Tadeusz (Tomasz)
S (es)
Jak Urszula
T (te) jak Wanda (W Uke an English v)

U (u) Jak X&ntypa (x Is not really a Polish letter,
but Is found In words like fax)
X (lks)
Jak Zbigniew
y (lgrek) Jakbneta

z (zet)

1: (:tel)

Apart from I (barred I), this leaves out most d the letters with extra

squiggles. The letters ' and 11 can be desatbed as ,_ and • z
ogonldem (with a lillie taR). The final letters of the Polish alphabet

are: i (zlet) or zet z Ina~ (zad with an accent): and i (at) or z z

krop~ (zad with a dot). The acute • Is known as lnaka In Polish, so

t, etc. can be desatbed as z n.q (with an accent). Alternatively,

you could find a short word with them In:

t (cie) Jak ana c w!fh an accent, as in (the WOifJ fotJ moth

II\ (en) jak koft n with an accent, as In horse
o with an accent, as in number eight
6 (u) Jak 6aemka s with an accent, as in laughter
z with an accent, as In stream or spring
t (et) Jak 6mlech

i (zlet) Jak :b6dlo

If you have a q or a v In ycu name, cal the letters [ku) and [fau). Some 15

poles call v [ve). You probably won't need au these, but It would be I

worth learning to spell your name out loud using this method. YCU' i

polish friends wiU be inpressed - and they'll spell your name right I

D lmlona: Christian names

Most Polish Christian names have shortened or pet forms, for example
Adam becomes Add, and J• becomes Janek or Ja6 (cf. John,
Johnnie, Johnno, Jack In English).

We have already heard d Basla. Baslals a familiar form of a.bara.
Anla is a tamHiar form of Anna. Joanna becomes JOMia or Aala.

There are several ways of addl'888ing or caiHng people, depending

what level d formality we would like to maintain:

Mr Jan Kowalski can be raferred to es:

Pan Jan Kowalski

Pan Kowalski

Pan Jan
Pan Janek


The first two are very formal Indeed, the next two less formal (altan
used among cola.- at work), and the last lhraa wll be used by

family and clale friends.

Language patterns

1 bye to be

In Polish, as in many ,other languages, this verb bas a slichtly
unusual set of forms.

jestem lam

jeste6 you ata (familiar, to one parson)

P&nlpanl jest you al8 (polltelformal)

jest he/she/It Is

jeste6my we al8

jesta6cle you 818 (famHar, to more than one person)

pal\stwo Ill you al8 (polite/formal, to a mixed group of people)

Ill theyata

11 The different forms of -verbs are traditionally listed as follows:

I pluf8/
Ii lam jestetrny W881'8

yotl818 jeste6cle you818

IJ&Ishellt Is INl they818

You will se.e that Poles, when addressing people with whom
they are not on familiar terms, use pan, pani with third person
as if they were talking about you rather than to you.

Similarly, when talking to a group of men and women, use

pa6stwo with third person plural.

You have not ·yet learned how to address (politely) a group of

women or a group of men. Not surprisingly, you use panic
(ladies) or panowie (gentlemen). You will see examples of these
later in the book. The principle is carried even further. For

example, a priest is addressed as ksUtdz (clergyman) and a nun

or a (female) nurse is addressed as siostra (sister).

2 Gender

Nationalities illustrate the importance of gender in Polish, e.g.

Polak (male Pok) and Polka (femals Pols), AaaJik (Englishman)

and .Anpelb (Englishwoman). Look at the list of female
nationals in the Nationalities sections on page 13. You will see
that they aU end in -ka. In fact, -a is the most typical ending of

feminine nouns in Polish.

Then look at the list of male nationals. They aU end in a
consonant (a sound other than a, e, i, y, o or u/6). Most Polish
masculine nouns end in a consonant.

Some words ending in -a refer to male persons and are
inasculine, e.g. &ancuski turysta (French tourist). Compare:
&aacuska turystka (female Ft-ench tourist).

Gender affects the form of adjectives like dobry, mily, polski,
which have to match the gender of (or agree with) the noun they

feminine 1-,7

(th~) Polish szkola letnia summer i
(languag~) I
polski sarnnch6d a Polish car polska weather
a Scottish
szkocki student a (male) Scotlish szkocka
student studentka
m6j przyjaciel my (male) friad moja
m6j brat my brother moJa s1ostra

my sistn

There is also a neuter gender in Polish. You have met the
following neuter nouns so far: slowo, imi~ aazwisko. Neuter

nouns most typically end in -o, but neuter nouns may also end

in -e, ~ or -um.

masculine fmUnine neutn

trudny j~k trudna sprawa trudne slowo

(a difficult ltmguag~) (a difficult matter) (a difficult word)

You will have noticed that several words have occurred in

conversations in different forms &om the dictionary forms.

Polish nouns (words like jpyk, mat:b, slowo) have different
forms for different purposes. These forms are traditionally
known as cases. Apart &om the dictionary forms (traditionally
called nominative), you have seen example& mostly of the
genitive case (e.g. jpyka polskieao) and the instrumental (e.g.

stucleatem). For example:

jpyk polski (nominative) Polish
Sllm1'IJBf" school of Polish
letnia szkola jpyka polskiego

The form jpyka polskiego is a genitive form.

Masculine nouns usually form their genitive by taking -a or -u

as an ending, e.g.

jpyk ltmguage genitive: jpyka
samocb6d car

18 Nouns with a dictionary form ending in -a change this to -y in
the genitive. As y is not allowed to follow g, k or j in Polish
I spelling, nouns in -p and -ka have genitive forms ending in -ai
and -ki.i
tourist genitive: tueysty

I tourist (fem.) genitive: turystki
Countries in -ia or -ja similarly have genitive forms in -ii or -ji.

Anglia England genitive: Aaglii
Francja France genitive: Francji

Genitive forms are used after the prepositions do (to) and z


Kanada Catuula Jestem z Kanady. I'm from Canada.
Anglia England Wracam z Anglii.
I'm coming back
Francja France Ltq do Francji. from England.

I'm flying to

Here are some more examples of genitive forms in use:

Swiat world to nie jest koniec it's not the end

Polska Poland swiata of the world
Miss Swiata Miss World
poeta poet
Walijka Welsbwoman Miss Polski Miss Poland
m6j brat my brother
Szkoda czasu Lefs not wast8 time

strata czasu a wast8 oftime

dom poety the poet's house

zdanie Walijki the Welsbwoman's


dommojego my brothtlr's house


Instrumental forms (so called because one of their uses is for
referring to the tool, instrument or means by which an action is
carried out) of nouns are used after jestem.

Jestem katolikiem. I'm a Catholic.

Instrumental forms of masculine (and neuter) nouns normally
end in -em; instrumental forms of feminine nouns end in -•·

Walijczyk Welshman M6j ojciec jest My father is Welsh.

Niemka German girl Angela jest Angela is German. 11
(S)he"s coming/ I
autobus bus jedzie going by bus.
autobusem. I'm in the car. (i.e. I
an excuse for
samoch6d car jestem refusing an I
samochodem. alcoholic drink.)
He's writing in
ol6wek pencil Pisze ol6wkiem. pencil.

Instrumental plural forms end in -ami.

cudzoziemiec foreigner Wszyscy Sl\ They are all
cudzoziemcami. foreign.

In Polish, as in English, names of countries and their nationals
are written with a capital letter:

Czech (Czech person) Rosja (Russia)
Polak (Polish person) Australia
Wloch (Italipn person) Ameryka

However, in contrast to English, adjectives of nationality are
written with a small letter, unless they begin a sentence or form
part of a title.

j~kpolski Polish
a German car
niemiecki samoch6d an American word
amerykanskie slowo


Wyspy Brytyjskie The British Isles

20 Practice

I 1 Put the expressions listed into appropriate gaps:
j~ka polskiego Hiszpankamj J~k polski

i Polakiem Polski

I a Irena jest z _ _ .
b Wszyscy ~ si~ _ _ •

c Carmen i Victoria Sll _ _ •

d Marek Grzebieniowski jest _ _ •

e _ _ jest trudny.

2 Match the responses to the items on the leh.

a Czy pani jest Szkotq? 1 WujakWIIDid,AjakAdam ...

b Jak to si~ pisze? 2 To q moi rodzice.

c Kto to jest na fotografii? 3 Owszem, jestem z


3 Fill in the blank spaces with correct forms of the nouns from
the list on the right. If you are stuck, look for help in the
dialogues in the first two units, rather than in the language

patterns section:

a Hans i james q _ _ . cudzoziemiec

b Bardzo mi milo _ _ poznae. pan (see


c Grzegorz jest lektorem _ _ _ _ j~kpolski

d james, chdalbym d przedstawic troje przyjadel

--· trudny
e To bardzo _ _ slowo.

f Pros~ _ _ zaczekaC

4 Match the words to the clues.

a He lives in the USA. 1 Wlochy
b a word 2 pomoc
c a wife 3 trudny
4 Angielka
d difficult 5 szkola
6 rodzina
e help
f family 7 Amerykanin
8 siowo
I an Englishwoman 9 Jestem
h a school
i Bardzo mi ... 10 milo
j country shaped like a boot 11 iona

k Here I am

a 5 Respond appropriately to the following conversational 21

turDS. I

a To jest moja iona, Krystyna. l

Tell her you are pleased to meet her. I
b Nazywam si~ Protasiewicz. P jak Piotr, R jak Robert, 0

jak Olga, T jak Tadeusz, A jak Adam, S jak Stefan, I jak
Irena, E jak EIZbieta, W jak Witold, I jak Irena, C jak

Celina, Z jak Zenon.
Say it's a very difficult word.
c Czy jest pan(i) Kowalski (-ska)?
~ yes. you're here.
d Czy sat pailstwo Kowalscy?
~ yes, you're all here.

6 What do the following sentences mean?

a M6j ojciec jest Czechem.

b Wszyscy poeci ucq si~ j~ka polskiego.

c Wracam z Walii.

d Miss Swiata to (here: is) strata czasu.
e Lee~ do Rosji.

How to ...

• introduce your family This is my family.
This is my sister/brother/
To jest moja rodzina. mother/father.
To jest moja siostra/

m6j brat/moja matka/
m6j ojciec.

• respond to an introduction

Bardzo mi milo.
Milo mi panalpanUt/paDstwa poznac.

• describe your nationality, or say what you are

jestem Szkotem/Szkotbt.
Jestem studentem/studen~.
Jestem turys~s~.

• say what country you are from

jestem z Angliilz Wiel.kiej Brytanii, z Polski

22 • say that someone or something is here

I Jestem. Here I am.
Samoch6d jest. There is a carffhe car is here.
You're here. Good.
i 0, pa6stwo sat· Dobrze.

I • spell things out loud
- Jak to si~ pisze?

- E jak Ewa, L jak Leon, V (fau), I jak Irena, S jak Stefan.

• ask people to speak more slowly ot loudly

Pr~ m6wic (jeszcze) wolniej. Please speak (even) more


Pr~ m6wic (jeszcze) gloSniej. Please speak (even) louder.

Pr~ m6wic wyrainiej. Please speak more clearly.

e-n· • :cs


In this unit you wlllleam
• how to count from 1 to 199
• how to ask tor and give


• how to use the telephone
• how to make more use of

genitive fonns





S Dialogues

a Sally is trying to contact . . by phone. The first time she

tries she seems to have "the wroaglllimber.

Gloe Halo.
. . .. ,
.. Dziel\ dobry. Czy rnocM m6wlt z panllt BarbantJalwbowska\?
a.lly Nlaaly to chyba pornylka.

Gloe 8ardJa pr.;alpi'BIZ8m, r:zy to 77-44-28 [sled~t
aledern. cztilfdz'Je6ci cztery, ctwactziMcla oelem]?

Nle, przylcro mi.

...., Najmocniej przepraazarn. Do widzania.

giDe voice pomJika wrong number, mlstale
.......,._.. (przeprasza6) I'm
MIG hll/lo (on the phone)
IIIOfM (m6c) I can IOtl'y, I epo/of1/ll8

m6wl6z....-~ I,.,.. , klfroduc:es • .JI8I-I'IO quesllon

.......t.lwb.,..q (panl) spetllc to (lit. przfllro ml (~.ja) I'm~
wlfh) Af8 an.. JeJrubowllra
~ ......... rm........,.... ptUpr~lzn
ewftlly sony
to this, It (II) ~

_,..I think, I 8UPPOM

a Sally has another try.

Gloe Unlwersytet W81'8Z8W8kl, llucham. 841 [oelemset
panlq_ Barbant Dzlefl dobry, poprosz41 wewnftb'Zny
czblnlzie6cl jedan].
Gloe llpt.
a.ta Dzlefl dobry, czy mOSM m6wlt z

Bula Przy telefonie. 25
Bala M6wl Sally. I
Sallyl Co za nlespodzlankal Wszystko w porzl\dku? i
Sally Tak, choclat nlelatwo sift do cleble dodzwonlt. Czy rnasz I
oc:hobt na wsp61ny oblad?

Tak, z p~. Gdzle I kledy?

U mnie wdorhu, o sz6stej.

Dobrze, do zobaczenla.

un~ (atrNs: unlwersytet) doclzwonl6 ... do get thtough to
do cleble (ty) to you
unlvetslty maa ~ na (rnle6, ochola)

WIII"UUIWHH adjecllve from do you feel like, do you fancy
Warsawa {Winaw) W.p61ny joint
oblacl dinner (typlcaJJy 3 p.m.)
elucham (alucha6) Ctllll help you?
......Wllp61ny obl8cllunch/dlnner
(I'm IJstenlng) together

po~ (poprosle) ,_(men z przy)em~ (przyjem!DC)

polite than proeq) with p/eas&it8, that would be

. . (bpye) trying to connect lovely

you (I'm connec1lng) gdzlewhet8

przy ........ (talel'on) spellkJng land
klecly when
(lit/by the phone)
u mnla at my place
m6wl ...., (rn6wl6) It's Sally w clomu at home
0 ..... (az6sty) (*fh) at 6
o'ctoctc (cf. sze6C)
co za what a ..., what sott of
nlespodzlllnkiiiiJIPflse do zobKzanla (zobaczyt) sse
you then, sse you soon
wuyatko 8118fY1hlng

w poi'Zildku (poi'ZI\dek) in ontw,

all right, OK


nlelatwo It isn't easy

D uHca, plac, aleja street, square, avenue

Straets, aqwns and 8\/Wiues In Poland take their names from thrae

main aources: names or surnames, historical events, and adJectives.

See overleaf.

Psni Jantna NOW&k

ul. Clcba 132m 16

62-200 GNIEZNO

28 • name or surname Mlcldewlcz St
S/enlclewlc:z Avenue
I ulica Mickiewk:za Pllsudski Square
aleja Slenkiewlcza SldodoWIIIca St
Solklarrlolt Avenue
I plac Plsudsklego StAnn~ St
ulica SklocfcMskiej

I aleja Solidarnoki
ulica $wiftteJ Anny

• historical events

ulica Rewolucjl Revolution St

B plac Zwyciftstwa Vlctoly SqU818

ullca PJerwszego Maja 1st of MaySt

plac Konstytuql Constitution Square

• adjectives

plac Zamkowy Castle Square
ulica Dluga Long Street
Aleje Jerozolimskie JenJsalem Avenue(s)

Moat Polish addresses will have the name of the street first, then the

number of the house or block, then finally the number of the flat. If an
address has only one number, it Is usually an Indication that the
addressee lives in a house rather than a block of flats.

Improving telecommunications became a priority for the Polish
government after 1990. Alot has been achieved, and you do not have

to spend a week In a phone box to try to get through to Poland any

more. In Poland you can use an ordinary tel.ron (telephone), or an

automat telefonlczny (payphone). The tel.ron kom6rkowy (mobile

phone), often simply called kom6rka (mobile), very quickly entered

Polish everyday life and was Inevitably followed ~ the Increasing

popularity of SMS (text#ng). New technology avalable In Poland

naturally Includes .won belpqewoclowy (conttea phone) as well

aa tllefon cyfrowy (dlg/lal phone). If you call someone at walk, you
will probably get through to the central• (switchboard) and have to
ask for their numer W8Wfl4ba:uy (extenslon/lntemal number). An
area code Is called numer lderunkowy.

Language patterns

1 Numbers

In terms of practical usefulness, and surviving in Poland, it is
never too early to learn to count in Polish.

1 jeden 15 pltttna6de rl
2 dwa
3 trzy 16 szesna6cle I
4 cztery
5 pl4tt 17 sledemnMcie :II
6 szejt
7 sledem 18 oslernna6cle I
8 osiem
9 dziewi4l6 19~ I
10 ~
11 jedena6cle 20 dwadzle6cla
12 dwanatcle
13 trzynUcie 30 trzydzie6ci
14 c:dlmatcle
40 czterdziMcl

50 p~lllt

60 szet6dllellllt
70 sledet'ldii,lll!l.
80 ~
90 dziewl~-

100 sto

You can see how the basic numbers up to ten, the 'teen
numbers, and the tens are related to each other. These words
can be combined to describe other numbers (in-between and
over 100), as you would expect:

24 dwadzle6cla cztery 93 ~trzy
103 stotrzy
35 trzydzlekl pl4tt 117 sto sledamatcle

78 sleclemdzlesktt oslem 155 sto~·~
89 oslerndzleslltl dziewkl6 197 sto~lllt

46 czterdzletcl szejt sledem

82 oelemdzleelllt dwa

2 A useful word for •self•: sift

Si~ (""Yself, yourself, etc.) is a very mobile word, as you can.see.
But it nev~ appears as the first word in a sentence, and it does
its best to avoid being the last. For example, dodzwoaic ~ (get

through on the phone):

Nie mog~ si~ do pani I can't get through to Basia.
Basi dodzwonic.


1 Fill in the gaps in. the conversations.
a Halo.

b _ _ . Czy mo~ _ _ z Basi4?

28 c Niestety to ---- •
d Dziefl dQbry. PQpfQS~ _ _ 45 (czterdzieSci pi~).
I e ~.

·I 2 Write the fullQwing numbers in words:i 182
I a 21 e 56 110
b 33 f 79

c 68 1 143

d 14 h 117

3 Translate into Polish:

a It is diffi<:ult to get through to you.
b Good morning. Can I speak to Tomek (z Tomkiem),


c It's Jurek speaking.
d I'm sorry. It's a wrong number.


Meanwhile, elsewhere, Magda is giving Elka, her guest &om

America, some baaic: information: emergency telephone
numbers, her address, her telephone number and directions to
her flat.

Elkll Mam nadziajfa, te bftdZie cl tu wygodnle. Dam cl na wszelkl
wypadak m6J numer telefonu. Zapiaz IObie. 3fHJ6-08
[lrzydzletcl pktt, zero sze6t, ~ osiem].

notu".~. jak tylko b4tdZiesz c:zego6 potrzebowala.

Jut Trzy l*lt, zero .... Powt6rz, proma.

Trzydzie6ci pitt, zero szett, dziewie6dzlel~t oeiam.

Dobrze. Sze6t, clzieMtt. osiem.

·A teraz przy okuJ rnoteez zanotowat m6j adra.. Zaraz cl

powlem, jak do naa dojechat.

hietnie. Tylko, bardzo cHt protmt, m6w wolnlej, bo nle

zrozumlem wszystkiego.

Oto rn6j adres. Dfabnlcka szesnatcle przez sleclem.

Elkll Nie rozumlem. Jak to szesnatcle przez siedem?
Przapraezam. Ulica Dctbnlcka. Plaza s~tt ul. U jak Urazula,
L jak Leon, kropka. Dom szeanasty. Plsze &Itt albo D jak

Dorota, kropka, szeana6cle, Mjak Marla, kn:lpka, siedem,
albo pro6ciej 1en szasnaAcie przez siedem.

Jut zrozumlalam.

Magcllt Do nas jest bardzo fatwo trallt. Jedt autobusem numer Ito
dwana6cle do ullcy J81'8klej.

mMI (mle6) have .._.. - (proeie, ty) I ask )'OU 28
MdzleJ• (nadzleja) hope ...... ~ ........ please, please,
mMI ........ ielhope please
. . . . . (byt) he/she/It wRI be m6w (rn6w16) speak I
wolnlej (wolny) mote a/owly
wygodnle (wygodny) I
bo taa: or else
cl (ty) for )'OU, to )'OU (familiar)
. . . cl wygodnle you will be przez usually: thtough, b.K via

comfottllble/fllt convenJent nle rozumlem (rozumle6) I don't

tultutel here understend
nle zrozumlem (zrozumle6) I
dMI (dat) I wiR give
won't undetstencllcatch
na wuelkl wypaclek}ust In case
j8k to ... what do )'OU , . . , •••
apia (zaplsK) write It down przepruzam (przepraazat) ~
IOble for yourself
I apolog/ZII
zadarol\ (zadzwonlt) give me a
ring uiiCII straet

j8k trlkO as soon as, Ifewr pleD ... (pila6) you write, It Is
~ czegot polrabaWIIIa
)'OU wHI need enythlng ..boor

~to need albo ... albo ... either .•• or ...

nabiM (notowa6) I am making a kropb dot, full stop

note of It ........... (proaty) tnOI'8 simply
powtWz (powtOrzyt) repeat
przy ~· (okalJa) while )'OU'I8
2ftlalllllllllm (zrazlmla6) 1\e g«It I
dam house, home
. . . . . . . )'OU Clll1 mleszkllnle nat,IICCOfi'IIFIOda
lldwo (llttwy) 8IS(IOy
.... ~ stnt/gh'-"Y tndl6 find the way
powllln (~) I'H tell )'OU
Jd ............. ,.. the ...
do ,.. (my) to us, ourplace
dajedl6 get (by traneport)
....,.. (Mialny),., gNIIt, Jd (Jecha6) tl'aMtl, go

excalllnt •~ (autobus) by bus
.... addNss

a Mam nadzleJtt/ hope

In English, you can say either 'l hope that you'H be comfortable' or
just 'l hope you'H be comfortable'. In Polish, the word te should not

abe left out. Notice that It Is preceded by,• comma: this Is tradiUonalln

Polish writing, and does not represent pause In speech.

a przez across, by

In speaking addresses out loud It Is usual to say przu for the 'f
symbol ('stroke' In British English, 'slash' In American). You. might
think of block 2, flat 16 as being 2 by 16. Remember that przez
nonnally means actDSS, thtough, by or via.

a30 soble to/for myself etc.
I Soble Ia a 8CMl&led datlva form, like ml and cl. It means to/for myself/
yourself/themselves, e1c. Polish often U888 80ble when talking about

doing something which will be useful to you, or doing something

i because you faelllke It or are simply entitled to.
I Wet. sable.
Go on, help youi'SIIIf.

Zr6b sable herbaty. Malee yourself some tea.

Niech pan(i) sobie zaplsze. Write it down.

a autobusem by bus

AutobiiHIII is the instrumental form of autobua and It means by bus.
Compare the forms In the box below:

dlctlonsty fonn Instrumental

pociltg train poe...... (I added after g)
samolot plane
prom ferry
trolejbus trolleybus
hellkopter helicopter
samoch6d car
~ (t.a6wka Ia
tramwaj tram feminine, ao Its instrumental
form ends In~
tak86wka tsxJ

You have already seen that Instrumental forms are alao used after
. . . . . . . . . .g.

Robert jMt Szkotem. Robert Is a Scot.
I'm a student.
Jeetem atudentam.

You may hear a Pole refusing alcohol at a party as follows:

Dzictkujct. Jestern samochodern.

DzlllkuM in this sort of context means No, thank you• ...._

umochodem does not mean the person has delusions of being a
car and would prefer to drink petrol. The instrumental form
umochodem here is used in the ··means of travel' sense -I'm In the
car. In other words, DzlflkuJ•· Jeatem umochodem here is the

equivalent of saying, Not for me, thanks, I'm driving. (Incidentally,

though, If you did want to say I'm a c.r, for example, In a role-playing 31
game, you would have to say the same thing - Jestem
Language patterns

3 Some infonnal (familiar) imperative fonns

You will have noticed a few 'imperative' forms in the additional
clialogue on page 28. Magda and her American visitor Elka are
good friends, so they use familiar forms to each other.

imperative verb write (it) down
zapisz zapisae
zadzwonic give (me) a rirlg
zactzwon powt6nyc
powt6rz m6wic speak
travel, go
m6w jechac
jedi ~c


4 Present tense of two common verbs

m6c be able


1~ lean, may wecanlmay
2 ITIOtesz you can, may they cantmay

3 ITIOte (s)hallt can, may we have

mlethave /have mamy you have
you have they have
1 mam (s)hellt has macle

2 masz maJ~t
3 ma

5 Present and future tenses of bye (to be)

1 jestem lam jeste6my we ate
2 Jeste6 (s)hellt Is J..e..eteAcle ythoeuy"a"te'

3 jest 171 be bftdzlemy W&'Hbe
you'll be
1 b4tdtt (s)hellt'll be b4tdzlecle you'D be
2 btldZiesz they'll be

3 bftdzle

32 8 Some more on fonns and u - of the
I Nie me>gf maleiC mojej
I Niemam¢1. I can't find my friend.


My hUIINmd isn't here./
I She hasn't got a hUiband.

In Unit 2 you met the forms known as the genitive case•. These
forms indicate possession (understood very broadly), among
other things.

dom mojego brata my brother's house
numer telefonu tslephone number

(lit. number of telephone).

The genitive is an important case in. Polish. You need not try to
absorb all the following information at once. You will probably
prefer to keep coming back to it. As you meet more examples,

the patterns will gradually emerge and make sense. Genitive
forms are so common that you will get a lot of practice in using
them in context. If you are following our advice to pronounce

endings particularly clearly as you speak, the sound and feel of
genitive forms will stick, whether you can quote the rules or not.

Maecullne nouns

Masculine nouns ending in a consonant add -a or -u. It is not
usually possible to predict whether the ending will be -a or -u,
so you will be well advised to learn the genitive form when you
learn the dictionary form of a masculine noun.

dictionary form genitive (-6- in dictionary form of
adresu this word, but -o- when
(nominative) albumu endings are added)
adres Berlina =(D. ni before a vowel)
album Londynu
dom (house) Krakowa (-6- in dictionary form of
Berlin this word, but -o- when
Londyn endings are added)


numer numeru

pok6j (room; peace) pokoju

samoch6d samochoda (-0-1-o- again) 33
telewizor (TV set) telefonu .I

m~&Z telewizora I
ojciec (father) in dictionary form, ~ I

syn when endings are added)
brat (brother)
ojca (-ci~ disappears when

endings are added to this



Some masculine nouns have a 'hidden i', which is absent from
the dictionary form, but appears as soon as an ending is added:

g~b (pigeon) gol~bia

Radom Radomia
Wroclaw Wroclawia

Remember that i before another vowel letter (a, 11. e, r, o,. 6 or
u) does not represent a separate syllable.

Neuter nouns

Neuter nouns ending in -o or -e swap these letters for -a in the

morze (sea) morza lotnisko (airport) lotniska

okno okna O~e Ok~

radio radia zero zera

Neuter nouns ending in -am (that's all nouns in -am except
album) keep -am the same in all their singular forms.

Neuter nouns in ~ also have a genitive ending in -a, preceded by
a modified stem. (The stem is the part of the word to which
endings are added, or to look at it the other way round, the stem
is what is left of a word when endings are removed.) The main

neuter noun ending in~ that you meet in this book is imi~ (first


imi~ imienia

Feminine nouns

Feminine nouns (and masculine nouns ending in -a, like turysta)
change the -a to a -y:

Barbara Barbary War&Zawa Warszawy
Dorota Doroty Kanada Kanady
szkola szkoly

34 There are spelling rules that disallow y after k or & so nouns in

-ka and -p have genitive forms in -ki and -tP:
I w6dka
I Polka w6dki

I Some feminine nouns ending in -ia have ge¢tive forms in -i,
others in -ii: ·

Anglia Ang1ii

kuchnia (kitchen) kuchni (the 6 sound is written

as a plain n before the
vowel i)

Note also:

telewizja (TV, i.e. the institution) telewizji

Some feminine nouns end in consonants in the dictionary form.
You will see more of those later. They also add -y or -i to their


twarz (face) twarzy (-6-/-o- alternation again)
s6l (salt) soli (-6-/-o- alternation again)


Adjectives agreeing with masculine and neuter nouns in the
genitive singular end in -cao. If they agree with a feminine noun
in the genitive singular, they end in -ej.

Telewizja Po)ska Telewizji PoJskiej
jfZ)'k polski jfZ)'ka poJskiego

7 The genitive In use

Genitive forms are used:

• with certain prepositions, particularly do (to, to see), z (from,

off), od (from), wedlus (according to), bez (without)

• with expressions like nie ma (there isn't any or isn't (t)here)

• after verbs like szukaC (look for) and sluc:baC (iisten to)

• after negated verbs that take the accusative form (which you

study later) when they are not negated:

Nie mog~ maleiC mojej I can't find my friend.


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